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Truro group helps those with mobility issues

Members of the Mobility Ryders including, from left, Joe Andrew, Allan Stevenson and Dana Andrew, are working to help more people with mobility issues.
Members of the Mobility Ryders including, from left, Joe Andrew, Allan Stevenson and Dana Andrew, are working to help more people with mobility issues. - Lynn Curwin

TRURO, N.S.

Small things can become big obstacles for some people, and the Mobility Ryders are working hard to get the word out.

The group formed a little over a year ago and has helped several people with mobility issues since.

“We assist in educating people about how mobility scooters can change lives,” said Allan Stevenson who, as a taxi driver for many years, has encountered many people with mobility problems.

“We don’t do fundraising but we’re involved in advocacy, and will assist people who need equipment. We try to direct people to programs offering assistance.”

Joe Andrew sets up meetings for people who need mobility assistance, and will speak for them if needed. He also does repair work on scooters, and meets with municipal representatives.

“I talked to the town engineer about fixing ramps on sidewalks,” he said. “The town has a five-year plan to have this done.

“There are a lot of people with mobility issues, and making these changes would open a lot of doors for them. They want to get out and feel safe in the community.”

Joe has severe arthritis and is waiting for knee surgery. The high humidity during the summer caused him more mobility issues than usual.

His wife, Dana, was born with cerebral palsy and has been in a wheelchair for a little more than four years, but she helps the group looking after the Facebook page.

“People with disabilities sometimes get left out and become isolated,” she said. “Simple things, like going for a coffee or a loaf of bread, can mean a lot.”

She said washrooms sometimes have enough room for a wheelchair to get inside, but not enough room for a person to manoeuvre – especially if they need a helper with them.

There are currently 41 members with Mobility Ryders, and six are in need of scooters.

“What we can’t get through to government is that one day in hospital would probably buy a brand-new mobility scooter,” said Allan.

“We just want people to have the chance to be a healthy part of the community. We have a formation driving team, and were in the Christmas parade last year. We plan to be in it again this year, depending on weather.”

The group is always searching for scooters, wheelchairs and walkers that are reasonably priced, or free. Reflective outerwear, for events such as parades, can also be used.

“You can change someone’s life so quickly with a wheelchair, walker or scooter,” said Joe. “It’s not healthy being cooped up at home. This can be a lot of work, but it’s so worth it to see somebody, at the end, to see someone ride down the street.”

To contact the Mobility Ryders, call Joe Andrew at 902-814-6642.

lynn.curwin@trurodaily.com

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